By Fleur Hellemans 

Using assessments for recruitment and selection is extremely useful. But assessments aren’t only restricted to the realm of recruitment. They can also be used for employee development. Whether you’re developing an individual or you’re about to embark on a large scale development programme, the rich information that assessments provide help an individual gain critical behavioral insights and chart a clear course for development. At its core it’s really a three step approach: Understand, Choose, Analyse.


To gain maximum benefit for the individual and the organisation, development must be directed at business outcomes. Therefore, the critical first step is to identify the competencies, behaviors and personal attributes people need to perform successfully in their roles. Assessment tools can then be selected to ensure measurement is directed at these critical areas.



There are a wealth of assessment tools available (for example: behavioural simulations, 360 degree evaluations, role-play exercises, psychometrics, etc). The key is to choose the one(s) that best measure the competencies, behaviours and personal attributes necessary for successful performance in the role. The value of using multiple measures when assessing performance is well documented – the greater amount of valid information you collect provides a more comprehensive picture of an individual.



The real value lies in the discussion about results. There’s no point having employees carry out assessments without effective follow up aimed at understanding results and their impact on performance. Assessments need to be debriefed by a qualified individual. This could be an internal or external person, and there are pros and cons for each:


An internal person often brings a deep understanding of the context within which the individual works and the opportunities and challenges they face.

Conversely, bringing in an external assessment specialist to carry out the assessment and follow-up brings an impartial perspective and sometimes a different view. This may be useful, especially if the person has been with the organisation for a while and a fresh perspective is of benefit.

The rich information that assessments provide raises self-awareness and helps individuals gain critical behavioural insights. Some of the information will likely reinforce what they already know about themselves. Strengths may be identified that the individual was not aware of, providing a pleasant surprise, and often assessments will also identify blind spots and opportunities for development. This information can form the foundation of a focused and tailored development plan.

More information on assessments can be found here. Fleur's original article on LinkedIn can be found here.

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